Graceland Finale Spoilers

Graceland Boss Defends Briggs' Risky Ruse, Teases Finale's Big Reveal

It ain’t easy living in Graceland.

Just last week on the USA Network drama, de facto team leader Paul Briggs (played by Daniel Sunjata) was shot in the leg by one roommate and slugged by another, after his Machiavellian manipulations and super-secretive ruses put his pals in jeopardy again and again.

Briggs is even at the root of comparatively mild-mannered Dale Jakes’ (Brandon Jay McLaren) new dilemma, seeing as the ICE agent “peeled off” some greenbacks during his latest bust, to serve as “get gone” money should “sin eater” Briggs need it.

With the Season 3 finale arriving Thursday at 10/9c, TVLine invited series creator Jeff Eastin to account for Briggs’ bravado and preview the final twists to come.

TVLINE | Graceland roommates are shooting and punching each other, Briggs’ secrecy has led them to fatally stab marks in the living room…. Why didn’t Briggs just spell out his whole plan for Martun from the get-go?
Briggs’ plan really began in Episode 5, coming off of Colby’s death, and at that point all the roommates had pulled away from him — partly because of his personality. And as a more practical matter, he didn’t really believe the roommates would go along with the plan. Also, Briggs has a sort of history of “the end justifies the means,” Graceland Season 2 Finale Spoilersso he realized that Mike had come off of this near-death experience and he could use that.

TVLINE | He figured he had a better chance of compelling the roommates into action as cops versus accomplices in a ruse.
Right. Which essentially at the end of the day protected Briggs but didn’t necessarily protect everyone else. We based a lot of this [Sarkissian storyline] on the Whitey Bolger case and the agent who ran Whitey, so we said, ‘OK, what does he have to do [to get out of this]?’ And our advisors said, “Well, if Homeland Security came in and clamped down on domestic terrorism [charges], then all that [‘sin eating’] gets wiped away, so we all went, “Well, that sounds cool.”


TVLINE | Turning to Jakes’ dilemma, I can’t imagine what the next words out of his mouth will be. Courtney (Annie Ilonzeh) is there by the bed, she’s found all the money he hid under the mattress….
Jakes’ relationship with Courtney really becomes a central issue in the finale. The moment when she is standing there with that money, Jakes has a few choices. He can either tell her the entire truth, he can tell a partial truth, or he can flat-out lie. I’ll just say that becomes a central tenet for Jakes’ in the finale, and it also — knock on wood, if we get a Season 4 — will become one of the central issues next season.

TVLINE | That was a bold swing he took, pinching that money for Briggs. Will we learn more about why exactly Jakes owes Briggs this favor?
We’ve sort of teased since Season this idea that Jakes owes Briggs, that there’s the favor owed, and in the finale we finally discover what that secret is. And I’ve got to say, I think it’s actually better than the hype — and I hope people agree with me. I think we did a pretty good job.

TVLINE | Lastly, what are we going to do about poor Gusti? He’s a criminal on some level, yes, but he’s been roped into this whole domestic terrorism thing. Have we seen the last of him?
One of the things I was really happy about this season is that Dan Shattuck, who is my No. 2, and I sat down with the rest of the writers to come up with something that was hopefully compelling and at least for us very coherent, very connected. People have asked, “Did you ever intend to really kill Mike?” And the truth was we hadn’t, partly because what we were looking for a way to take Mike Warren, who really was this “boy scout,” and kind of make him do a 180, with his drug addiction and things like that. Within that, we also loved this idea of Mike coming back [from the “dead”] with these particular thoughts on whether or not he had seen something, whether he’d been given a mission….

The nice twist I thought was the fact that Briggs capitalizes on that. Mike even says at one point, “I gave Briggs a map to my mind,” so we have been driven, since the end of last year, to create that moment. What could we have Briggs do to manipulate Mike? What would be the most he could manipulate him? What if he actually tapped into his “mission from God” and said, “Guess what, I’m god of your world now, Mike. I will control you.” And the idea with Gusti was for Mike to have someone to save. We were really, really lucky to cast Mahedi [Rakib]. I felt we really got the guy we wanted for that role, and he did an excellent job. Off of all that, what we wanted to do was show that Mike, beyond what Briggs manipulated, really did have a purpose. And toward that, yes, Gusti will be in the finale.

Want more scoop on Graceland, or for any other show? Email and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Coal says:

    The whole Courtney finding Jakes’ hidden stash angle doesn’t really change the relationship dynamics which had already begun with a lie it was just a lazy piece of writing to create a OMG ! moment. Let’s be honest with ourselves Graceland is not coming back for a fourth season, unfortunately for us fans of Season 1 the show was caught in the middle of brand/identity/tone or whatever you call it on the USA network so it was doomed from season 2 onwards. Farewell Briggs, Mike, Johnny, Paige, Charlie and the MVP of the show until the Courtney storyline Jakes.

  2. tallsy says:

    They didn’t do a great job of showing the team not trusting Briggs because even in Episode 10 they were blaming Mike went things went wrong. Why should we even want Briggs to get away with this via homeland security? Just last season they were saying that it was all about “paying for sins.”

    The enduring problem of the show is that they build things and never dealt with the fallout. Briggs as Odin. The Cartel. Paige getting Mike temporarily killed. The show undermines its stakes if these things never have any fallout.

  3. wrstlgirl says:

    I cracked up laughing when Johnny shot Briggs. It’s about damn time somebody did, LOL! On another level I cannot stand Paige and never will warm to her again after last season. But while I basically really like all the other characters the show itself is just not good. There never seems to be any consequences for anything these people do or the bad things that happen to them personally and the story lines are just all over the place. If we get a fourth season I’ll be surprised.

    • Bwhit says:

      Johnny shooting Briggs was probably the best moment of this show because Briggs could always manipulate Johnny and I was so glad someone finally pulled the trigger!

  4. pecola says:

    I’m always amazed by producers who have no perspective about the shows they make. I guess Eastin will be the only person surprised when Graceland is finally put out of its misery.

  5. Bwhit says:

    I really like Graceland and hope we get a fourth season but I’m prepared for the probability we won’t. I think the best way to end this would be for Briggs to sacrifice himself for the house. He’s done a lot of damage to Charlie, Mike, Jakes and Johnny since the series started and if anyone needs to be held accountable it’s him, but I fear Johnny or Jakes might end up being the ones who ultimately pay the price for everything Briggs has done this year.

  6. Ellinas1978 says:

    It looks like they are planning for a 4th season and not ending story lines. So with that in mind I hope for an abbreviated last season just so things are not up in the air. Don’t need everything tied up in a big bow – hate shows that do that – but give the show a chance to have a finale.

  7. the girl says:

    When the heck are we going to find out what happened with Jakes’ son? That’s all I want to know.